H1N1 Influenza: Questions & Answers

1:54 p.m., May 1, 2009----Following are answers to a number of frequently asked questions in light of the H1N1 influenza (swine flu) on the University of Delaware campus. If you are a UD student or parent and have questions about H1N1 influenza or University protocol not addressed here, please call (302) 831-2226.

Why isn't the University canceling classes?

All decisions regarding University operations are being driven by the best medical advice available. Health officials from the State Division of Public Health, Christiana Care, and the University of Delaware continue to support the decision to keep the campus open. Furthermore, officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are now in Delaware and have not advised that we alter this decision.

The flu symptoms to date have been mild, and students are recovering after treatment. Treatment resources are available on campus, which allows UD to treat students efficiently and effectively. Medical staff will continue to assess the situation on an ongoing basis.

Unlike a K-12 school, the University of Delaware is a residential community, with some 15,000 students living either on campus or in close proximity. The University is able to provide medical support quickly and efficiently, 24/7, for students experiencing flu-like symptoms and is disseminating information about and products for preventing the spread of influenza. For a list of recommended precautionary measures, see this story.

Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should avoid close contact with others as much as possible -- that means do not go to class or to work -- and seek medical attention immediately.

Are campus activities being canceled?

On advice from state public health officials, the University is limiting public events that would attract people from the surrounding community onto campus -- and events that would take UD students off of campus -- in order to avoid the potential spread of influenza. We are evaluating each event on a case-by-case basis. Cancellation updates can be found on this page.

Where can students go for medical attention?

Any UD student who is already experiencing flu-like symptoms should go to Student Health Services in Laurel Hall, which is open 24/7.

On May 1, the clinic at the Carpenter Sports Building (the “Little Bob”) will focus ONLY on providing preventive doses to UD students who meet special health criteria, as follows: The student must have a chronic condition (chronic lung, heart, liver, blood, neurologic, neuromuscular or metabolic disorders); or be over 50; or be pregnant; or be immuno-suppressed (for example, students who are on medications such as Prednisone or who have HIV) -- AND the student must have been exposed to the flu through close contact with sick students, such as being in the same household, being a roommate, or being an intimate partner.

The vast majority of UD students will not need to be treated with preventive medication -- a service being offered to UD students only. Those who do not meet these conditions, or who do not have other health issues, do not need to seek health services.

Where should staff and faculty go for medical attention?

Staff and faculty who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay at home and contact their personal physician immediately.

Who are the students who tested positive for H1N1 flu and where are they now?

The identities and specific locations of the students are not being released; doing so is a violation of the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule. The four students who tested positive for H1N1 flu are recovering rapidly after treatment.

How is the University communicating with students & parents as this matter develops?

As information becomes available, it is posted on the University's home page. We are also using the UD Alert system (phone calls and text messages) to convey very important information concerning the virus and where to seek treatment.

What help will the University provide to students if they have to miss classes?

Students are encouraged to speak with their faculty if they are ill and miss classes. Students are welcome to contact the office of the Dean of Students if they have concerns following conversation with their faculty.

Where do I go for more information?

The Delaware Division of Public Health has activated a call center to answer influenza-related questions: 1-866-408-1899. The line is open until 5:30 p.m. Information about H1N1 flu is also available on the CDC Web site.

If you are a UD student or parent and you have questions about H1N1 flu or University protocol, please call the UD Student Health Services hotline: (302) 831-2226. The hotline will be open today until midnight.

For your infomation

The University of Delaware Library has added a brief list of current information resources about the H1N1 influenza to the "What's New" section of the library home page, found bottom right. To link directly to the list, click here.